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On February 11 2023, Valid Dreams Foundation marked the 2nd annual Black History Month Event, which soon became a highly anticipated opportunity of celebration, learning, and cultural experience. Valid Dreams Foundation, founded in 2021, works to highlight cultural and racial diversity that emphasizes and interacts with the importance of community, prosperity, and healing together for future generations to come. 


Last year's event was a pleasant success that consisted of a gathering of over 250 community members, business professionals, young learners, sponsors, and friends, who all gathered for the same reason; to honour and learn all things Black culture, music, diversity, and history. There were live performances by people of many different cultures, a fashion show that exemplified African clothing and Black excellence, and traditional African food that was shared over meaningful conversations.  


Attendees were elated by many important speeches at the event that struck the hearts of many. 


The 2023 keynote speaker, Shirley Palmer, an immigration consultant, started with a heartfelt performance where she sang a song with her son. In addition to her tune, Shirley titled her address “Mind The Gap” which was a play on words that referenced the London Underground, a system she used to use during her time living in England; while also using it as a way to acknowledge the discrepancies within our histories, and poignantly encourages her community members to actively remember and speak the absolute truth of Black presence, history, and prosperity. 


Alfred Achoba, Executive Director of CMHA, had a moving speech that provided a multi-layered perspective; he reminds us not long ago that we were “divided by colour” and what that meant for not only those who were present, but the ones that came before him, and those who will follow after. In addition to the necessary and moving perspective build, he ultimately guided the room into a place of common humanity, humbling and reminding us, “we all have dreams'. 


Valid Dreams Foundation (VDF) Executive Director, Sally Martin, is passionate about taking the time to outline the diversity and variety within African culture, and places emphasis on the importance of getting to know and celebrating both differences and similarities within not only African communities, but BIPOC communities across the globe. Ms. Martin reminds attendees that the Black History Month Event is “the tip of the iceberg of African culture” and encourages her community to place their learning in realms of continuity and dedication.


VDF works to break barriers for BIPOC communities in Kamloops, and in turn, the world. Through education, invitation, and teamwork, community based programming like the Black History Month Event, we seek to grow traction and interest across our community. VDF would like to express ultimate gratitude to their Volunteers, sponsors, community members, gracious performers, and open learners alike, for the way they have and will continue to show up for Black history, rights, events, equity and community building. 

The 2023 Black History Celebration included:

  • Fashion show

  • African cultural food

  • Black excellence recognition

  • African music and Dance

  • Performances

  • Networking and so much more!

The Black History Celebration is a family friendly event that welcomes people from all cultures to celebrate and learn more of the Black and African community culture and traditions. In this spirit our event shares different delicacies from the continent of Africa, Music, Dance, Fashion, different performances and recognition of BIPOC Excellence in the Community of Kamloops and surrounding areas. The event aims to promote the heritage of African Descent and create a cross cultural platform where people of all cultures feel included, authentic and have inspiring conversations and moments.
Talk openly about both challenges and opportunities for the BIPOC community and what the best ways forward could be like.

Empowerment is important and we dive into it by promoting cultural awareness and creating platforms for authentic intercultural conversations ranging from racism and discrimination to inclusion and breaking barriers to achieving true inclusions.
We believe that in learning and sharing openly, it can help inform decision makers in establishing best practices as individuals, organizations and as a community.


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